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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Community members are invited to participate in a community forum aimed to confront and understand our past related to hate and violence in the County to work toward a stronger future.  The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 6:45 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring.

“Remembering the Past to Protect the Future” is the theme for the event hosted by Montgomery County’s Human Rights Commission, the Office of Human Rights, the Department of Police and the Committee Against Hate/Violence.

The program will include film screenings of “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer,” a documentary by Robin Hamilton of ARound Robin Productions and “Burning: The Lynching of George Armwood,” a documentary by Will Schwarz.

Following the documentaries, Will Schwarz, a Baltimore-based filmmaker, video producer and founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, will provide a brief overview of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, Inc.; and local historian and The Menare Foundation, Inc. President Anthony Cohen will discuss lynchings, which took place in Montgomery County. James Stowe, the director of Human Rights will give a brief overview of Montgomery County’s current Remembrance Lynching Activities. And, the Police Department will present current the County Hate Crime status. 

Human Rights Commissioner and Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame member Terry Vann will moderate a panel discussion and a question and answer segment.

Director of Human Rights James Stowe will be joined on the panel by Acting Chief Marcus Jones; Will Schwarz; Anthony Cohen; and Willie Pearl Mackie King who transcribed Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham Jail.

“This is a time to come together to remember and understand our past so that we can benefit and learn from those who made sacrifices,” said Stowe. “It is important that we work together with renewed focus to build a better, stronger and more supportive community so that everyone is free of fear, intolerance, hate and violence.”

The organizers hope the event draws from a wide array of county residents who want to understand the past while working together on the shared goal of building a more unified, cohesive community.

“Everyone is invited to be part of this powerful work we are doing to eliminate hate and bias from Montgomery County,” said Barron Oakcrum, Montgomery County Human Rights Commissioner and the planning chair for the event. “To achieve our goal, we must acknowledge and learn from our past and work together respectfully to eliminate hate and violence.”

Light refreshments will be served. The first movie will begin promptly at 7:05 p.m. For more information about the event, call the Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8450.

Release ID: 19-237
Media Contact: Judy Stiles 240-777-6536